President Bush has proposed a sixfold increase in aid to the Palestinians, including $150 million in direct cash transfers to the Palestinian Authority, in an effort to bolster the government in advance of a Middle East peace conference planned for later this month in Annapolis.Let's get a quick timeline together:
The $435 million in additional aid, on top of $77 million requested earlier this year, has attracted little notice in the president's $45.9 billion supplemental request last week to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, if approved, it would constitute the administration's largest amount of direct aid to the Palestinian Authority. Previously, the administration had limited cash transfers to $50 million at a time.
* US gives some $70 million annually to the moderate terrorists of the PA, including weapons and training for their security forces to keep out the extremist terrorists.
* The extremist terrorists win an election and take over the government.
* The US and EU balk at this new Hamas government so Abbas is installed as a figurehead president to receive more money.
* Hamas goes to war with the moderate terrorists, with all their US-supplied weapons and training. Fatah runs away from Gaza with barely a skirmish.
* The US and EU decide to reward the moderate terrorists by allowing them to form an undemocratic government and ignoring Gaza - and they pressure Israel to give this government a couple of hundred million dollars.
* Moderate terrorists continue terrorizing, with suicide attacks thwarted by Israel, with press restrictions, with continued incitement against Israel on moderate terrorist TV.
* Now the US decides that the reason that the moderate terrorists lost the the extremists is not because they have no motivation, not because they have no desire for peace with Israel, not because Fatah in reality only controls a small area around Ramallah while Hamas is more popular everywhere else - the real reason is because the US didn't give Fatah enough money to begin with.
As the expression goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. The US has zero influence on Palestinian Arabs in any meaningful way - in fact, all evidence points to the fact that they hate the US with a passion. Whomever the US supports will actually automatically lose prestige in the Arab world. The only thing the US has is money, and it therefore thinks that money can solve all problems.
For thirty years the US has singlehandedly propped up the Egyptian government with tens of billions of dollars to influence Egypt to adhere to its peace treaty with Israel. This may have brought a temporary end to war but it has hardly brought peace - Egyptians remain the most anti-semitic and misozionistic people on the planet. The idea of normalizing relations with Egypt, so sought after by Israel in the 1970s, is laughable today. Egypt is a single bullet away from being taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood. Three decades of "peace" has not moderated the Egyptian people one bit. The only reason there is not a state of war now is because a series of autocratic rulers have worked to ensure that the money pipeline remains open.
This is hardly a model for Israel-Palestinian Arab peace. Gaza, Al Aqsa Brigades, a weak non-democratic government - all these show that any money the US gives to Mahmoud Abbas will end up going to the terrorists, one way or another, and will impede peace rather than promote it.
Last September, CAMERA came out with a report showing an amazing correlation between the amount that Palestinian Arabs receive and the number of murders they do the following year:
The idea that the US can solve this problem with money is not only wrong, it is exactly the opposite - if the US wants to increase terror, the surest way is by increasing "aid".